Several weeks ago, I wrote a column that listed who I consider to be the top 40 Chiefs of all time. Listing the cream of the crop was difficult, but it pales in comparison to coming up with a list of the 40 players who were at the opposite end of the spectrum (the cream of the crap, so to speak). It was tempting to pick only players who played during the 1974 through 1984 seasons for two reasons: First, those teams were really bad teams and second, the Chiefs conducted some dismal drafts in that time period. I decided that criteria was totally unfair. I also dismissed the temptation to list the 1987 replacement team players for the same reason. Despite persuasive arguments, I also decided that coaches should be excluded (Paul Hackett, Jimmy Raye, and Frank Ganz, Sr. must be breathing a collective sigh of relief). I also excluded players that have been a pain-in-the-butt since they retired (Super-agent Tom Condon can also resume breathing, although I wish he wouldn't).
Many people were kind enough to offer their opinions as to who should make the list. One individual, in particular, went into extreme detail to explain why he chose the players he did. While I am grateful to Kevin for piecing together a comprehensive selection criteria plan, I will not blame him or anyone else for the list that follows. I chose players based on their relative lack of value to the team or because they did something that either cost the team dearly on the field or off the field. Longevity and position played were not selection factors. That said, here is my list (presented in inverse order):
40. Dale Carter - When he had his act together, he was an All-Pro. Unfortunately, he zoned-out on a regular basis and cost the team dearly with stupid penalties. Ultimately, he was more trouble than he was worth.
39. Steve Fuller - Fuller was the number 23 selection in the first round of the 1979 draft. He had almost no competition for the starting QB role but lost out because he had a very weak arm and he was too fragile.
38. Gary Barbaro - He also made the "Top 40" list but gets included here because of the way he deserted the team to play in the USFL.
37. Derrick Alexander - He turned in decent years in 1998 and 1999. He had a monster season in 2000. All that changed in 2001 when he the team really needed him to excel. He tanked the whole season by refusing to play through minor injuries and turning into a practice field cancer.
36. Steve Bono - His pitiful performance against Indy in the Divisional Play-off game in 1997 was reason enough to include him.
35. Woody Green - The number 16 selection in the first round of the 1974 season, Green proved to be less than adequate. To think that KC could have chosen Lynn Swann or Roger Carr instead of Green.
34.(Tie) Cliff Frazier, Brian Jozwiak, Percy Snow, Gene Trosch, and Rod Walters - This sterling group of first rounders (except Frazier, who was a second-round pick) were dismal flops because they couldn't stay healthy.
29. Jeff Kinney - Anymore, teams know to stay away from Nebraska running backs. Kinney is one of the reasons why.
28. Joe Valerio - Did a nice job catching passes at the goal line. Unfortunately, he was a dud as an offensive lineman, which is what he was supposed to be.
27. Chester McGlockton - When he was in the mood, he was an absolute terror. Too bad that he was in the mood so seldom. His attitude was especially galling considering the fat contract he got to play for KC.
26. Andre Rison - One very nice season followed by a return to the garbage that got him tossed out of Atlanta. No doubt Derrick Alexander considered him a role model.
25. Sylvester Hicks - A high second round pick who performed like a street free agent.
24. Elmo Wright - The team could have selected future Hall-of-Famers Jack Tatum or Jack Youngblood. Instead, they selected a hotdog that did nothing except originate the end zone dance.
23 (Tie) Steve Pelleur and Tony Adams - Two quarterbacks who were given every chance to become the starter and fell flat on their faces.
21. Darius Holland - Reputed to be an excellent run-stuffer, this flop would have had problems trying to bring down Mother Theresa.
20. Ervin Randall -KC traded for this guy, hoping he could stuff the run and cover tight ends. He couldn't.
19. Gary Butler -KC drafted him at a time when the team desperately needed a TE. Butler rewarded them by snagging eight catches.
18.(Tie) David Jaynes, Mike Elkins, and Matt Blundin - Three high draft choices that played quarterback at an incredibly low level. These three combined had 12 attempts, 3 completions, 20 yards, 0 tds, and 3 interceptions. There's no danger of Canton calling.
15. Victor Bailey - KC sent a second round pick to Philadelphia for Bailey. The Eagles chose All-Pro Bobby Taylor with that pick. We got one reception for 12 yards.
14. Lin Elliott - What do Lin Elliott and Roseanne Barr have in common? They're both three yards wide. His errant kicks in the play-off loss to Indy in 1997 cost the Chiefs a great chance to go to the Super Bowl.
13. Mark McMillian - Mighty Mouse was good for a few laughs when he did his pose after a tackle. At 5-7, 148 lbs., however, he was burnt toast most of the time.
12. John Matuszak - He cost the Chiefs a first round pick AND Curley Culp and repaid the team with lackluster play and a bad attitude.
11. Chris Dishman - Despite claims that he was still running at 4.3 speed, it was obvious (especially to opponents) that he was actually closer to 8.3 speed. He made up for it by committing pass interference.
10. Todd Blackledge - Never, never, never draft a Penn State QB, especially when we could have had Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O'Brien, or Dan Marino.
9. Ethan Horton - With the 15th pick in the first round of the 1985 draft, the Chiefs could have selected Jerry Rice. Horton was a classic case of "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane."
8. Dan Williams - Really busted his butt in 1997 and turned in a great season. When he sat out the entire 1998 season in a contract dispute, the Chiefs should have smelled trouble. Instead, Williams got a fat contract and rewarded the team by turning in the types of years that originally got him thrown out of Denver.
7. Terry Wooden - KC was convinced that Wooden was the strong-side LB we desperately needed, so he was signed to a huge contract. He did nothing in the one year he was in KC.
6. Bam Morris - Came in as a free agent and had a nice season. KC rewarded his effort by re-signing him to a fat contract. Must not have been fat enough, because Bam decided that drug trafficking was more lucrative.
5. Trezelle Jenkins - Another example of "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane." It's sad when a 6-7, 320 lb., tackle gets pancaked by opponents half his size.
4. Brett Perriman - The ultimate free agency disaster. Before he was released at mid-season, he made a total of six catches.
3. Carlton Gray - Another free agent signing disaster. He couldn't cover man-to-man. He had trouble playing zone, and he wasn't any good at press coverage. Unfortunately, he played cornerback.
2. Tony Casillas - Technically, he never played for the Chiefs. What he did, however, was sign a free agent contract for big bucks (including a substantial bonus) and then refuse to report to the team (he wanted to go back to the Cowboys). The team eventually got the signing bonus back, but it cost the Chiefs dearly in the salary cap for that season.
1. John Baker - His only mission was to kickoff to the Raiders and keep the ball in-bounds. That one kick was all that separated the Chiefs from victory and a trip to the play-offs. Baker blew it. For that, he will go down in Chiefs' history as the biggest bum of all-time.